Success Story 2023

Lower Yellowstone River Acquisition

Powder River Depot
Photo: Sarah Ryan
Lower Yellowstone River Acquisition
Wild Montana
328 acres protected

In the first of 10-15 projected acquisitions over the next four years, Wild Montana successfully coordinated with the Montana Governor’s office and the Lower Yellowstone River Corridor Advisory Committee to purchase 328 acres of riparian habitat along the Lower Yellowstone River.

The Yellowstone River, a primary tributary to the Missouri River, is the longest, free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. World-renowned for its dramatic Upper and Lower Falls inside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, the Yellowstone River flows northeast and eventually opens to a wide, meandering corridor providing critical habitat for wildlife, birds, and fish. It is a prime area for recreation, though, to date, has lacked access points and infrastructure in the lower stretch of the river in eastern Montana.

The 328-acre parcel, east of Billings, Montana, will become the North Wildcat Coulee Wildlife Management Area. Once appropriate infrastructure is in place, it will protect habitat for native vegetation and wildlife, and will provide recreational access to 2.2 miles of river corridor.

When all four acquisitions around the Lower Yellowstone River are realized, this project aims to create three new state parks, 10 to 15 new conservation and recreation access sites, and improved infrastructure.